ECONOMIC EFFICIENCY OF RESTRUCTURING PROCESSES OF INDUSTRIAL ENTERPRISES ON THE EXAMPLE OF IRONWORKS IN POLAND (REVIEW)

Radosław Miśkiewicz

Abstract


The steel industry in Poland was deployed in the southern part of the country and in the Mazowieckie Voivodship (Zachodniopomorskie), Zachodniopomorskie (Huta Szczecin). These 26 economic entities were involved in the economic transformation process with unfavorable technical and technological parameters and crude steel capacity of 20 million tons per year. Participation of the martensite process (over 30%) in the production of liquid steel; Almost 93% steel casting rate for classic ingot molds. On the other hand, over-employment (almost 145,000 employees), low productivity (about 130 tonnes / person) and obsolete technical equipment made it ineffective. The steel industry restructuring began in 1992 (after the government adopted the directions for development proposed by the consortium of Canadian companies (HATCH ASSOCIATES LTD., ERNST & YOUNG and STELTECH). They gave impetus to the development of sectoral restructuring programs. Following Poland's signature of the Association Agreement with the European Union, its modernization began in 1992, through the years 1998, 2001, 2002 and 2003. In those years a government program for the restructuring of the iron and steel industry was formed and it was extended for the years 2007-2010.

There are a number of publications in the Polish economic literature and in management science relating to the functioning and adaptation of the domestic iron and steel production capacities to market requirements and to its activities under free market conditions. From the perspective of past years, however, there was no comprehensive work, monographs, studies on the restructuring of Polish iron works. This problem appeared fragmentarily on the occasion of the restructuring of employment or finances in Polish enterprises. Thus, the publication of the monograph by S. Podczarski entitled:  "Economic effectiveness of restructuring processes of industrial enterprises on the example of ironworks in Poland. It fills a gap in the Polish literature on the economic effectiveness of iron works restructuring in Poland and broadens the scientific discourse on this problem. Hence, the work is not only theoretical but also utilitarian. The publication, in a highly substantive way, also notices the development trends of the restructuring of the iron and steel industry in Poland in the years 1991-2015. In my understanding, this time frame gave the author a distance and freedom of research, but also the ability to verify the assumed hypothesis. It sounded: as a result of iron industry restructuring processes, the level of their economic efficiency of resource management and production factors increased, and the level of economic efficiency of the iron and steel industry in Poland increased. Economic practice has confirmed that the author correctly used the distance in time to analyze and evaluate the restructuring measures, even those which started in Poland in 1992.

The work has a traditional structure, consisting of: introduction, five chapters, conclusion and bibliography. Its structure is logical. The presented contents arranged in a methodological and chronological way are complementary and written with great expertise of the problem. Its substantive value is expressed in individual chapters. And so the first chapter entitled: The main elements of the theory of restructuring of industrial enterprises (pp. 12-55) contains theoretical aspects of economic transformation of enterprises. The author, basing on Polish and foreign literature, as well as available secondary sources, correctly presented the process of restructuring, both in legal, social and economic terms. Basing on the material collected, the restructuring requirements of steel companies in Poland were correctly defined. Their development directions were properly defined. This allowed the author to give a competent presentation of the effects of the restructuring of industrial enterprises.

The essence of economic efficiency and determinants of economic efficiency of restructuring processes of industrial enterprises, methods of diagnosing the economic effectiveness of the restructuring of enterprises, are the contents of the second chapter. (pp. 55-94) S. Podczarski correctly (p. 55 et seq.) introduces the researcher, the reader into the process of restructuring. He recognizes and rightly states, that the change of the paradigm of the market economy, the introduction of a new link to it, which is knowledge properly shapes a contemporary way of doing business, where globalization, innovation and competitiveness are ubiquitous. It is therefore rightly emphasized (page 60 and the following) that in order for a company to function properly, it is inevitable to introduce radical changes, restoring harmony in the enterprise and responding to contemporary civilization challenges. Restructuring must be a conscious choice, a constant activity based on legal regulations, results of research and diagnostic and design work, and recognizing the established and verified economic routines. This also applies (p. 63 et seq.) to the research methods used in the research process, both descriptive and statistical.

The directions and economic efficiency of ironworks restructuring processes in the European Union countries are the contents of the third chapter (94-123). The author began his reflections with a general statement that the instruments of industrial policy of the state constitute important premises for the restructuring of enterprises. In my opinion, he skillfully combined them with the rational solutions developed by Western countries. They relate to the English, German, French, Italian and Swedish experiences. Not without significance (p. 101 et seq.) were also the ones related to the transformations in the USA or Japan. They influenced the processes of implementation of development program of the latest generation microelectronics and computer systems into politics and economic practice. This significantly contributed to the improvement of technical and technological solutions in the industrial enterprises (metallurgical), reducing the electrolysis of the process, improving the production efficiency, improving the sintering quality and reducing the risk to the environment. The initiated process of transformations, which is rightly noted by the author (p. 116 et seq.), involved ownership, organization and social restructuring. These are important thoughts of the author opening the possibility of wider scientific discourse in this regard.

In continuation to these considerations is the fourth chapter, entitled: Grounds for necessity and economic efficiency of the restructuring processes of iron works in Poland (p. 123-148). This specific industrial policy of the Polish state is defined by numerous legal regulations (p. 123 and the following), which resulted in ownership restructuring consisting in privatization, isolating separate companies out of ironworks and the sale of the ironworks to foreign capital. In a complete manner, confirmed by the results of the research the economic efficiency of the ironworks before consolidation was presented. So the analysis covered ownership, organizational, technological and environmental restructuring. These activities affected the modernization of the production infrastructure and the closure of many of the burdensome environmental departments, e.g. the martensite steelworks. All in all, a good chapter, reflecting the essence of the economic efficiency of the restructuring processes of iron works in Poland.

The economic efficiency of the restructuring processes of iron and steel industry in Poland is discussed in Section 5 (pages 148 - 223). It seems that the author makes in it a correct diagnosis of the economic efficiency of restructuring processes of iron works functioning until 2015. In my opinion, the indices necessary to carry out a full indicator analysis were correctly defined (p. 217 and n.). The effects of live labor, the share of COS steel in total steel production, profitability and fixed assets, and its dynamics are well illustrated. Unfortunately, and which was pointed out in the monograph, there is no complete data from the restructured enterprises. This made it impossible to carry out a full economic analysis to the detriment of the procedure, given that after the accession of Poland to the European Union, the process of consolidation of the restructuring process and the obligation to report (reports) to the competent minister had taken place.

However, despite all these shortcomings, the reviewed work fills the gap in the economic literature concerning the restructuring of iron works in Poland. The author professionally both in the theoretical part (chapters 1-3) and practical (chapters 4-5) presents the problem using a communicative, understandable language. The contents of the chapters correctly documented in the Polish and foreign literature, are logical and supported by the results of his own research and the available statistical data, which in fact shape the process of restructuring the economic entities of the steel sector in Poland. I would again like to emphasize a rich source documentation and orderly work. It is correct (properly described footnotes, tables, graphs) and covers both Polish and foreign literature  (monographs, studies, articles) concerning restructuring processes. It can also be a good base for further research. It predestines the work to be popularized and used by the academic community and economic practice. 


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ISSN (Print) : 2449-7320

ISSN (Online) : 2449-8726